Class doing balance exercises

Best Balance Exercises for Seniors

Balance exercises are important for everyone to implement into their workout routine. However, they provide some of their best benefits to seniors since they can aid in the prevention of falls and balance-related injuries. When you are exploring exercises for balance for the first time, consider implementing the following exercises that safely challenge you.

Single Leg Balances

One of the simplest ways to challenge your balance is to stand on just one leg for a set amount of time. When you first try this, you may stand on one leg while holding onto a sturdy piece of furniture or the wall. Once you find your balance, try to let go and hold it for 30 seconds at a time.

As your balance improves, you may be able to challenge yourself with an advanced one-leg balance, such as with the tree pose, which is commonly used in yoga.

Standing Marches

Walking in place is a great way to challenge your balance because it requires you to quickly shift your weight from one foot to the other. Once you feel comfortable walking in place, you can try marching in place, which involves the same movements but with your knees raised higher.

Over time, you can try this exercise on a variety of floors, such as carpet, hardwood and even outside. Additionally, you change the amount of time for this exercise.

Sideway Steps

While facing a counter or table, take two steps to the left and two steps to the right. You can hold onto the counter or table for support or let go if you feel steady. After you are comfortable with this exercise, you can take more than two steps in either direction.

If you feel that your balance is not challenged enough by this exercise, you can add a resistance band around your knees or your ankles. Resistance bands typically resemble large rubber bands, and they come in a variety of resistance strengths. When you first add a resistance band to this exercise, start with the lightest band available to you. With more practice, you can reach for a heavier band that will not only improve your balance but also your muscle strength.

Standing and Sitting

Another great way to challenge your balance is by practicing standing and sitting in a chair. At first, you may want to use a chair with a high seat, such as a barstool, but you can challenge yourself by using different chairs with lower seats too. When you stand and sit in your chair, avoid using your hands and try to move slowly so that your muscles will work to support you.

Walking the Tightrope

Try to walk in a straight line by placing your feet one in front of the other. You can take as many steps as you’d like before turning around and going back the opposite way. You can hold your arms out to help you balance, but you may not need them after practicing. This exercise will help you build muscle in your legs and core.

Building balance is important for all seniors and older adults. A benefit of living in a retirement living community, such as The Buckingham, is the access to fitness trainers and classes that help guide residents through balance-related exercises.

At The Buckingham, monthly activities and programs focus on health and wellness, social events, educational opportunities and more. The focus on each resident’s personal lifestyle while providing resources to improve their health is only one of the reasons The Buckingham is Houston’s most popular retirement community.